Vestmannaeyjar

It is almost impossible to separate the town Vestmannaeyjar, and the clusters of islands Icelanders call Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands.  It is a small town on a tiny island south of Iceland placed on a rock in the middle of harsh forces of the Atlantic Ocean with an active volcano underneath. Most of the islands are steep rocks with difficult access.  It is one of the most exciting locations in the country and scores high on any indicator you would usually use to measure and compare anything of interest. Be it historical, geological, as a natural wonder, a spectacular view or otherwise.  It is possibly one of a kind on planet earth and a place you do not want to miss if you visit Iceland.

One of the oldest spots of settlement in Iceland

In the Book of Settlement, it is mentioned that slaves who arrived with the Viking Ingólfur Arnarson, allegedly the first settler, fled to this island. The slaves were usually called Men from the West or Vestmenn.   Although Ingólfur Arnarson and his Viking followers captured and killed all of them around 870, the islands were given their name, the islands of the Wes Men or Vestmannaeyjar.  But the islands have been inhabited ever since despite the horrible fate of the slaves.  One reason is the extremely rich fishing grounds around and near the islands. Another reason is the many species of seabirds that hangout in the cliffs and have provided a generous addition to the food sources. From the 10th century, the islands were sought after and possessed by most of the highest authorities in Iceland until the late 19th century. The usual suspects; the Church, the King of Norway and the King of Denmark.

Vestmannaeyjar has always been a tough town to live in

There are few indications that people that lived there gained any particular advantage compared to other Icelanders throughout the centuries.  Most of the owners tried to squeeze as much as possible out of them. Living on those islands was always challenging and uncertain. In addition to severe natural forces, there were always other dangers.  In the summer of 1627 three ships of Algerian pirates rated the island with a brutal attack and either killed or captured in slavery most of the inhabitants. In 1963, a new island was added to the cluster of islands in an eruption only a few kilometers south of the main island. Approximately a decade later another eruption started unexpectedly, now practically in the town.  At that time, Vesmannaeyjar was a thriving town in the forefront of fishing and fish processing in Iceland. Every single person living in that town had to evacuate their home and move to the mainland Iceland.

A product of generous fishing grounds

Vestmannaeyjar is one of the oldest towns in Iceland. Because of the small size of the island, a cluster of houses formed early on.  The main base of livelihood has always been related to the sea and the natural conditions for a harbour. Although land for agriculture and conditions to farm have always been difficult, people in Vestmannaeyjar have farmed for many centuries. But the main force has always been fishing.  Today it is home to some of the largest fishing and fish processing companies in Iceland. After the eruption that lasted only for a few months, many of the islands residents moved back and rebuilt the town.  Not minding the two volcanos that tower over the northern end of the town.

A great place to live in although small measured in land space

Vestmannaeyjar has always been highly appreciated by those who are born there and those who live there.  Most of them get a bit cocky when they refere to themselves as Westman Islanders. Especially around other Icelanders, but they are great people to visit, happy and friendly. Because of the strong economic base from fishing and fish processing, the community has always offered excellent service for the residents. Schools have been around for a long time as reading and education has always bee highly valued in Iceland. The municipal offers good schools, a state of the art outdoor and indoor sports facilities.  Culture has always flourished in Vestmannaeyjar and music, and some islanders are known for their cheerful songs and songwriting.  The town also has great seafood restaurants with fish as fresh as fish can get and a variety of accommodation plus an excellent camping site in Herjólfsdalur. Just recently The World of Fire, a volcano museum opened to commemorate the fascinating eruption in 1973.

If you are going to visit the Southern Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Vestmannaeyjar region.

Below is the location of Vestmannaeyjar on the map of Iceland

Tours and things to do in the Southern Region in Iceland

Find an interesting tour in the Southern Region. A tour from Reykjavík or Reykjanesbær by the airport. A whale watching tour, a tour to the highland and much more.

A trip to an ice cave is indeed a unique experience

A trip to an ice cave is indeed a unique experience 

It gives you a chance to store in your memory a place you rarely have an opportunity to visit anywhere else.  It is a visit under the edge of a glacier tongue located at Vatnajökull National Park. You are practically inside Europe’s largest glacier experiencing the interaction of light and ice in a breathtaking way that words can barely describe.

Southern Region Iceland
2 Day South Coast Tour - Blue Ice cave - Jökulsárlón - and more

Blue Ice cave - Waterfalls - Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon - Black Sands at Reynisfjara 

Join this tour along Iceland’s south coast to discover the unique landscape, natural blue Ice cave, glacier tongues, icebergs, lava fields, volcanos, black beaches, mighty rivers, and magic waterfalls.

Global Warming and Climate change adventure tour in Iceland

With a combination of travel and lectures, Geocamp Iceland and Hit Iceland offer a unique opportunity to get a view of and understand how climate change is affecting our planet in the form of a tour.  The trip takes you through exotic locations of volcanoes, glaciers, ice tongues, canyons, craters, lagoons, deep highland, small fishing towns, and other relevant and interesting places.  Our approach for this tour is based on geology, environmental science, and changes in nature.  We will also visit fishing villages to highlight how changes in the environment and natural resources affect various communities and their economy.

Golden Circle tour with Secret Lagoon

Step away from the crowd, the rush, and speed and enjoy the top sights and attractions in the south-western part of Iceland, without all the traffic. Take a convenient bus tour in a smaller bus and with a smaller group (max 16) at a time when fewer visitors are around. Why chase the crowds when you can enjoy the wonders of Iceland in a more friendly setting?  This peaceful excursion takes place in the afternoon and lasts into the evening and allows plenty of time to explore, view and photograph all the spectacular wonders.  And remember that evening in Iceland is bright during spring, summer and into the autumn. 

Þórsmörk tour

Þórsmörk is one of the most spectacular places in Iceland.  It is one of the most accessible areas in the Highland, a deep valley, and oasis cornered with glaciers on three sides.  It is truly a place of ice and fire as one of the glaciers; Eyjafjallajökull has recently erupted with glowing lava flowing into two parts of Þórsmörk.
2 presons minimum

Geysir hot spring in Haukadalur

This tour is operated from Reykjavík and offered to visitors in Reykjavík and the Capital City neighbors towns. The Golden Circle tour is the most popular adventure tour in Iceland and for many good reasons. It is a trip easily doable in a day from Reykjavík the capital of Iceland, a place most of our visitors begin their journey in Iceland, and also because the tour offers a stunning view of fascinating natural wonders. Also a tour of history and geology. History as the first stop is at Iceland’s most valued historical (and almost holy) places and Geology, as you will take a breath-taking look at the various states of earth’s most vital resource, water.  This tour has it all and takes you to lakes, rifts, geysers, waterfalls, rivers and glaciers.